Jesus said my sheep know my voice. So what other voices are there? Well there are many of course, but the only one that is really relevant is that other inner voice, the one which comes from the voice of doubt, the voice that wants to retain independence of God.
The same inner voice which Adam and Eve were subjected to, the one which called into question God and his authority, his motives and integrity. The voice of doubt as typically seen in “doubting Thomas”, who was holding out for more evidence of Jesus having been resurrected in bodily form – which was proof of life conquering death, and was the proof of God, his integrity, his authority and power.
Adam was driven into his “shell” of autonomy and independence of God. He set up his own “kingdom” from which he could run his own life, do his own thing, and entertain the processes of inner death. To doubt God is to doubt love and righteousness and truth. To doubt God is to give fuel to the inner fire of destruction, is to feed the enemy of the inner serpent which writhes and wriggles in its constant avoidance of truth and everything that is good. That inner serpent that gives voice to deceptive lies and deceptive practises.
Jesus came to kill this inner voice, destroy its power, and reinstate that which Adam lost. It was natural for us to entertain this voice because it seemed like a reasonable voice, this voice of reason, of analysis, of querying, and we poked and prodded at it to see of what substance it contained. We discovered, too late, that its substance was that of death, that it had a powerful “sting” which poisoned life and left us inadequate to the task of living a life that was “alive”, because the sting of the serpent brought us to death.
This inner voice, this serpent, is not simply some theoretical or theological device. It is the reality of the arrangement of our inner nature, our inner thought processes which are at the core of our being, and which reveal an inner “kingdom” that is deficient in the qualities that might render it suitable for an existence of eternity. It was this “inner creature” that Jesus destroyed on the cross in his own body, and repaired it from his own righteousness of spirit, which was able to overpower and render those areas of himself (us) that were in active rebellion against him, null and void, inert, dead.
Having restored the human form as it was intended to be, the power of God immortalised him in a new final creative form that was able to take its place in “heaven” with God. It was a new body, a new form, a new creature, and a new creation. The rest of creation now awaits the time when the whole of creation will be subjected to this powerful and righteous and creative force, which is His Spirit of love. [now available through Jesus].
What has this to do with OUR inner serpent? Jesus not only destroyed the serpent in himself, but by so doing, he demonstrated its lie, its falseness, and its powerlessness to do anything except to prompt and pursue the processes of death. It’s authority which it held through our doubts of God, has been destroyed, and thereby its power to hold us in its grasp, which it only had through its lie, its deception regarding the goodness of God. Because God is truth and love, the power of the serpent, wherever it may be found, has been cancelled. We are now in control of it, not the other way around. But we must come to KNOW this and then to BELIEVE it.
We who have the same human nature as Jesus had, will ourselves be destroyed along with this body of corruption, that is destined for corruption and the grave, unless we place ourselves somewhere else that will survive the impact of God’s fiery Spirit when he returns. We who are the “self” of us, who we really are, our IDENTITY, must take up a new position if we are to avoid the destruction of the old. If we choose to continue to find our identity in “this body of death”, we will go down with it. But if by believing the truth about God, and believe his “proof of I.D.” as he has shown through Jesus death and resurrection, then the inner serpentile voice will be silenced, or at least rendered ineffective. Our identity can find itself in Jesus, who is now “at the right hand of God”, and so we can be there too, in spirit, in power over the “enemy’ who has effectively been destroyed by the power of His Spirit.
From Jesus in heaven, we now receive HIS Spirit who comes to live with us, in our earthly “temple”, the temple of present destruction, but which can experience renewal and revival, because OUR spirit is with him and in him in heaven, from where we now operate as “kings and priests”. If we accept the conquering of the inner serpent [who had made our body his temple] that his love achieved in him, then this same conquering will also occur in us, as we trust in his self same love. But the conquering has already been achieved, because the conqueror forever stands over the conquered, no matter where “he”, the enemy, is to be found.
Because God’s love is a “fait accompli”, the enemy has already been destroyed, the outcome is assured, and we must receive this assurance and dismiss any further claims we may have to autonomy, and instead we must cleave to him who is the victorious one, as he has proven in Jesus. Our fate WITH him is far different to our fate WITHOUT him. It is assured and proven, tested and tried. We now flee the destruction to come by fleeing to HIS NAME, to his loving power and authority, by finding our identity IN HIM. He has “paid” it all, borne the weight and the burden of our departure from him and the damage it caused. He has SUFFERED it all in his love, both for us AND for the son of his love, which by adoption we now become also. All “done and dusted”.
The return to him is marked by our willingness to accept him, to accept righteousness, to accept truth and life, to accept HIS spirit as denial of our own. His love is everywhere and pervades all and everything, and for the time being is moderated by his son in a form by which we can be regenerated, once we accept him and his sacrifice for us, which amounted to the total removal of the effects of sin and death from the “equation”. Though death remains death, its power to hold us in that death that it is, has been destroyed, because God’s love (God) is always willing and available to embrace us as His sons and daughters, because of the love and obedience of His Son. We now follow in his footsteps, but rather than having to achieve the victory ourselves (which we could not do), we now tread in footsteps of the ash and the charred remains of that which formerly enslaved us, because His Spirit, His love, has removed it all.
[So far as East is from West, so far have I removed your sin from you][ Paul encountered a serpent on the island of Malta Acts 28-5. “However he shook the creature off into the fire and suffered no harm”.][Fire is representative of the Spirit, by which we are able to shake off the serpents poisonous effects, and consume it in the fire of God’s love, the cross].